I'm going to try not to talk about the last few years recruiting and the misses that have put us in kind of a bind on the OL. Those classes are past and I'd rather talk about what we can expect/hope for from this years class. I personally feel that the OL is the most important position for the next couple of years recruiting.
I find myself going back and forth between agony and ecstacy when thinking about the possibilities for this class. Let me also explain that I'm definitely NOT a "trust the coaches" kind of fan. I'm also not all wrapped up in recruiting rankings though and realize that the OL is a terribly difficult position to evaluate. I look more at a player's offer list because the coaches are the guys that will win or lose based on how they recruit and coach up these kids. So lets break down how the board looks. I'm going to assume that we keep all our current commitments. We have a decent class now, but we need a SPECTACULAR class this year, in terms of quality AND quantity. This class will be made or lost with a few more key players choosing UF.
Max Garcia-Guard: I count him as a recruit for this year because he's going to be a new addition to the team. I don't remember what he was ranked coming out of high school, but he's already D1 tested and I seem to remember that he was all frosh-ACC or something. I wish we didn't have to wait 2 years to see him in the Swamp.
Octavious Jackson-3 star Tackle: I just don't get this one. He definitely doesn't have the prototypical size for a tackle and we seem to be his only decent offer. So am I supposed to believe our coaching staff has noticed something no one else in the country has? He's in Georgia's back yard and they have no interest in him. What am I missing?
Cameron Dillard-3 star Guard/Center: Another 3 star that I'm torn about. He has solid size for an internal lineman and a decent offer list. It worries me that he's from Michigan and doesn't have offers from any of the regional powers. What do you all think of him?
So this is all we have locked up so far. Now on to the players that we could still land.
Tyler Moore- T:Nebraska transfer who has also done well already at the college level. I always worry about transfers, but he doesn't seem to be a problem child. There are rumors that say he's about to commit to us and others have him saying that he'd rather go back to Neb than play here.
Laremy Tunsil-5 star T: I can't believe such an immensely talented player in our backyard seems to have no interest in UF.
Trenton Brown-4 star T (JC/uga commit): Perfect tackle size, physically ready, taking him from uga could ease pain of possibly/probably losing Tunsil to them. I'm always concerned about JC Olinemen though. We've had alot of busts going this route lately. I think he's one of the best tackle options we have left that we have a legit shot at.
Kenny Lacy-4 star T: Seems a little light for a tackle and I don't see him coming all the way from AZ with so many options closer. If we get him on campus though, anything could happen. Personally he'd be a plan B option IMHO behind Moore and Brown.
Rod Johnson-3 star T: Perfect tackle size and rumor seems to be that his grades are keeping him from having a better offer list. The door might still be slightly ajar for this former GATOR commit.
Ira Denson-4 star G(f$u commit): Prototypical G size and many say he's acting more like a UF commit than f$u. He seems to be our best option a guard. We REALLY need to flip him.
David Dawson-4 star G(michigan commit): Great size and amazing offer list. Our window seems to have closed with him, but he obviously had interest and seems to have been scared off by losing his scholly. He could still end up being a NSD flip like Fowler.
Josh Outlaw-4 star G(former UF commit): Solid size and offer list. I can't remember the reasons, but that door seems to have closed (was it his choice or ours?).
Well those seem to be all the players I think we have even a remote chance with. We obviouly have a great shot to add a couple of great tackles and maybe a guard. Looking at what we have already I think it's a must that we add 2 more, but I'd probably feel more comfortable with 3, especially if a couple are transfers that will have to sit out a year. If I had to guess, I'd say we end up with Moore, Brown and Denson. I'd be THRILLED with that class and think we have pretty good chances with all 3.
What are your thoughts on how we could close? Do you honestly think I'm off base with my assesment of our commits? PLEASE give me a reason to believe (beyond "trust the coaches").